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Fantasies flowing through my veins, Dreams capturing my nerves, Adrenaline rush for adventure, I'm proud to be a Restless Rambler. We are a group of 5 bikers sharing a similar passion and a common goal to explore the nature. At the same time we take utmost care and ardent initiatives to contribute in preserving the stable environment and beauty of nature in its purest form.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bewitching Nandi Hills

Restless Ramblers D.3-Bewitching Nandi Hills

Least planned, ...in search of bikes and other ramblers, Enjoyed the most with least expense, there's no adventure without agonies- We're the Restless Ramblers.

Nandi Hills was more of a pleasure and leisure trip rather then an adventure although we have our own terms to practise it amidst nowhere.

How to reach there?
About 5 Km before Devanahalli, you will come to a railway level crossing which is identifiable by a prominent hoarding of the Bangalore International Airport, located just across the level crossing, on the right. Driving further about 4 to 5 Kms ahead you will sight the Larsen and Toubro (L & T) Concrete Mixing Plant, identifiable by 3 prominent yellow painted towers. Also behind that you will see a prominent rock hill with a Jain Temple at the top and a Lodging building at a lower level.

You will pass the L & T Plant on your left followed by the rock hill, again on your left. About 300 Metres after the hill you will see a prominent turning to the left, leaving the highway. Take that and thereafter you are in the Nandi Hills viciniy-Help yourselves.

Rather than taking left at the 'T' junction we took a right and ended up at an isolated village sultanpet and crawling to the steep of the old route to reach Nandi Hills,we landed up at House of Dreams-The Silver Oak farm.
As we reached the gates of the farm through a narrow aisle leading towards hilltop, there were two ferocious stout alsesians greeting us straightaway. Soon we'd mutual fondness for each other and Mickey-Minnie truly made our trip memorable.

They took me to the top of the way, with isolated temples which brings up the haunted memories of Ramsay brothers, leading to Tipu's summer capital-Nandi hills. Me with these little guardians on either sides jogging to the top, waiting for each other to be in sync and clicking pictures of lifetime are the memories that won't fade easily. They were punished that night for leaving the premises of the farm. We dined with wine, occupied this jungle house with a picturesque view of landscape and next day visited Nandi Hills in real.

Although with sheer enthusiasm we drove to Nandi Hills, little did we realized that none of us carried our wallets with us. With ambitious HR's it was pretty smooth to convince the personals to waive off parking fares and entry charges. A step further we migrated from bright sunshine to a foggy land full of greenery. Green and White were the only colors visible. Then there's Tipu's drop from where Sultan Tipu used to get the guilty thrown to the bottom till he breaks. There's also a source of river Arkavathi and some temples which is a trademark of Karnataka tourism.

With lungs filled with fresh air and camera full of grandiosque pictures, we left for Bangalore at noon cherishing diabetic grapes at peanut prices. But our end doesn't seem to agree with Yashraj movies and we suffered a tragic sunburn. Although the tanned look was happening, shedding off the peel like a snake later on was embarassing.

Caution: Kindly be responsible enough to prevent any mess by leaving lays wrappers and plastic bottles at this bewitching place. Preserve its beauty.

---Rambler Ravish (Next is Pearl Valley)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mesmerizing Siddarabetta

Restless Ramblers D2.-Mesmerizing Siddarabetta

After conquering Shivagange, Devnarandurga was on our cards via Namada Chilume but we spent a lot of time there taking rest, fueling our system and exploring dry & unexciting bushes.The only cheerful thing was few monkeys aiming at our food and making electrifying gestures and spontaneous acts of bunch of couples in every nook of this Deer Park.

Namada Chilume is the place where Prince Ram, during their exile in forest created a sprinkle of water with his arrow to suffice Sita's thirst. Although this 1ft diameter reservoir with unknown source of water origin is religiously significant, it's hardly maintained and thoroughly algae-covered. Also there's a kindergarten within where we'd some snacks as it was closed. There's a passage through the bushes through which you can make it to a rocky area to click few pics.

Now as Siddarabetta caves exploration was on our mind, we bypassed Devnarandurga (although hardly 4kms from Namada Chilume) and through scenice track full of brookes and boulevards with an exception of posterior-breaking under construction patch which provides you to display your skills with zig-zag biking, we reached Siddarabetta at 18:00. Its approximately 40kms from Namada Chilume although milestones may be deceptive.

As soon as we started ascending, the sleeping beggards suddenly on the sideways did an 'Undertaker' showing great spinal cord flexibility. Soon after, there were few people descending and wishing us all the luck to reach the top in the dark and finally the pujari too was descending although he did explain us on how to perform puja. But the best part was a stray dog and my companion for the rest of trek, came from nowhere and guided us to the top. I named it 'RADAR' to the very perfection to suit its deeds. This peak offered more green pasture and was much more steeper then Shivagange and it being second ascending in a day was tiresome but the atmosphere motivated us and finally we made it to the top at around 19:15 and...
...We're speechless and mesmerized by the tranquility in the caves the coolness it offered. We dipped our tired feet in the 'kund' and sprinkled water on face and magically we got rid of all the tiredness in the world. We ritually performed puja to lord Shiva in few artificial lamps which we were told are generally switched off after 18:00. While it was supposed to our back journey, the rejuvenation provided us with hunger for exploring caves with RADAR in the natural darkness. The only lights that were visible was the lamps in village 1200+ meters down from the top.

Although these aren't typical caves, but rocky arrangement which gives you cave-like feel but they are enigmatic in their own terms. Once through the caves, we were in open land full of rocks and vegetation all around. Shining moon above and twinkling fireflies beneath was a sight to watch. I still carry a glimpse of 5 young guns in my mind with the front one carrying a torch, second accompanied by a dog, the third and fourth with a stick to his rescue and bagpack respectively and the last one water bottle. In future, whenever I'll try to be remittent about this trip, this picture alone with narrate everything. We would have zoomed ahead but we took plane's sound for a tiger's roar and for the first time during the trip our minds and legs were in sync and in opposite direction.

Finally we started strolling downwards with an injured Pandava (Keyur during Shivagange) and truly memorable moments. Bread-butter and a parle-G was all we could offer as a grateful gesture to RADAR.On return we took a different route via TUMKUR village which although long, is safe and smooth with odometer frequently chasing 100+. And as there's no adventure without agonies, as we halted on NH4 we had the first meal of the day and it was way too spicy to lower it down the stomach and had to suffice our hunger with Mazza and ended our trip reaching home via NICE road.
I don't remember anything from the moment someone opened the door at 01:30 till I woke up at 10:00 in the morning.
Best time to Ascend: After the dusk as the mood will drench you in mesmerizing peace and chillness. Although take utmost care as you will be all alone in the dark and on way back there has been incidence of robbery.

Precautions: Torch to guide you and cushion to allay aching back on the bike.
---Rambler Ravish (next is Nandi Hills)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rocky Shivagange

Restless Ramblers D.1- Rocky Shivagange

1 fine morning, 3 cool bikes, 5 adventurous minds, Endless Roads, Same mission: We are the Restless Ramblers.

We left home on 12th April at 6:00 from BTM,Bangalore with macho Thunderbirds, colorful Bandanas, sturdy bagpacks and protective gears. Little did we know what nature has in store for us and what HE gifted was truly a lifetime experience. Bowing down to Hanuman and revolving thrice on Sumit's advice , we quickly zoomed to Tumkur Road and the adventure started pretty early then what we anticipated.

Leading the trip requires one to be well-versed with the route map and failing to do so provides you familiarity with few petrol pumps, tea stalls, autoriders and local villagers who act as makeshift GPS. Somehow we managed to catch the NH4 with heavy traffic congestion. Here, we tried to beat the boredom of moving inch by inch by opting for the service road and soon we ended up in a spot of bother. We're required to gear down a steep inclination of 45 degrees and it took a Herculean effort from rest 4 of us to prevent 90-kg Sujan gliding together with his Pulsar-180 from the top. A few meters away, on seeing few wheelers stuck up in dampened soil, we dropped the idea of following that route and diverted to main route only to queue up with other vehicles.

We continued the voyage with a tea-break, few unavoidable stoppages and clicking picturesque landscapes. The route was pretty smooth & straight and so while Keyur at my back demanded to click a gigantic Hanuman idol, I was reckless and Thunderbird lost its balance only to brush up with a jogger on the side. If was nice to escape unhurt. Soon we reached Dobbespet flyover where taking left and biking for 8kms took us to the doors of Shivagange temple. Ours being the only bikes over there, villagers queued up demanding parking fare, charity,etc. But my advice is be generous to them as tourism is the only livelihood provider, it seemed to have over there.

Initial few steps to the first temple were tiring and as we were fasting it added fuel to the fire. Targetting the cliff's pinnacle was sheer optimism for us, but then there was Darshan-The overenthusiastic guy among us who always targeted few miles further and he was the one who made us feel on the top of the world once we reached the peak. Scorching sun tried to beat us down & huge rocks with cool shadow lured us for a nap but passion to succeed didn't allow us to surrender. Although disfunctional lungs and dehydrated system forced us to dump our bags behind one of the rocks but cane-juice and few snakes in the bushes preserved our momentum. Finally we made it to the apex and emotions made their way out in various ways. The calm and gentle breeze flowing over the drenched body gave us sense of satisfaction and cave-like rocky structures provided us bundle of joy. But more than anything, its the feel of being at the crest and clicking the tiny world below gives you augustine pleasure.

But as it's said 'There's no Adventure without Agonies', Keyur in trying to imitate few reflexes of mine damaged his ligaments and was lamed for the rest of our trip. That prompted us to start our unlikely descending leaving behind utmost pleasure and preparing for next venture, and on the way there were few who started their journey upwards by then and to my astonishment few with barefoot. Finally it was the cool green cucumber and my favorite raw mango that provided the finishing touch. That's how we conquered Shivagange by 12:00 and left for our next destinations.

Route: Bangalore --> Yeshwantpur-- > Peenya -- > Dasarahalli -- > Nelamangala --> Dobbespet --> Shivagange.
Distance: Approximately 75kms from BTM,Bangalore.
Best Time to Ascend: 06:00 hrs or early hours to escape Sun. It takes on average around 2 to 2.5 hrs to and fro.

Tips: Apply sunscreen else tanning will take your toll, Preserve Water else hardly any chance to get water over the top, Cap/Bandanas/Shades to prevent dry hair and red eyes.
---Rambler Ravish (next is Siddarabetta)